This Tattoo Saved My Life

July 10, 2017


This is a very real and personal post; possible trigger warning:

7 years ago today I did something that 7 years ago I didn't know if I could do. At 17, I had been struggling to breathe under the grasp of self harm for years. The emotional pain at that point in my life was so overwhelming I tried desperately to find a way to transfer some of it to the physical. What started as an outlet for pain turned into a full blown addiction. I began to feel little to no physical pain. I pierced my tongue with a nail, I'd punch myself in the face, I made wounds that continued to grow deeper and deeper just to be able to feel something other than my emotions. My parents had me in therapy when I was 13, which I continued until 21.

Through the years leading up to 2010 I began to realize that the anti depressants, the anti anxieties, the blood, the tears, the fighting, and most importantly the pain and fear my family was being put through was something that had spiraled out of control, it was something I knew that only I could end. I tried to quit many times; I'd write it down that today was the last day, this was it. And just as quickly as I wrote the words, they were replaced with wounds. Then it dawned on me, it needed to be permanent, something I could wake up to everyday, something I could see and feel, something that would hold me accountable when no one else was around. And so it was then that tattoos saved my life.

July 10th 2010, I got a tattoo that changed the course of my history forever. A double sided razor blade with wings, to be freed from addiction. Redemption, another chance at showing myself love instead of hate. And the forever promise to myself that no matter what, I would never hurt myself again. Today, tattoos continue to be my external commitments, reminders, promises from me to me. Today I can celebrate my own strength, and I'd love it if today you'd celebrate yours as well. We all need a reminder that we are strong, capable, creative, artistic, worth of something beautiful, worthy of love. My reminders are tattoos, and I hope maybe my story could be your reminder as well. ❤️

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